Thursday, April 19, 2007

Leni Riefenstahl

In two weeks time, I'll be hosting Steven Bach - the noted film biographer and author of the recently published book on filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Steven Bach will be appearing at The Booksmith in San Francisco - where I work as the events coordinator - to talk about his widely reviewed new book. Bach will give a short talk, show some brief film clips, answer questions from the audience, and then sign books. I hope anyone interested would attend.

Like Louise Brooks, Riefenstahl worked with director G.W. Pabst and made both silent and sound films. Brooks figures in this new book. I am really looking forward to this special event. Here is some descriptive material about it from the Booksmith.

STEVEN BACH - talk & booksigning for "Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl"
Thursday, May 3rd at 7 pm
at The Booksmith (1644 Haight Street in San Francisco) 
"Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl" is the definitive biography of the woman known as "Hitler's filmmaker" - one of the most controversial personalities of the 20th century. Relying on new sources,­ Steven Bach has produced an exceptional work of historical investigation which both untangles the past and is an objective and unsparing appraisal of a woman of spectacular gifts corrupted by ruthless personal ambition. 
Steven Bach is the author of two previous biographies, "Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend" and "Dazzler: The Life and Times of Moss Hart." He was in charge of worldwide production for United Artists, where he was involved in such films as Raging BullManhattanThe French Lieutenant's Woman, and Heaven's Gate, about which he wrote the bestseller "Final Cut." 
This Booksmith sponsored event will take place at The Booksmith (1644 Haight Street in San Francisco). For further information, call 415-863-8688 or visit     If you can't attend this event and would like to order a signed copy of the author's new book, please email or phone our store.

"Steven Bach's Leni finally presents Riefenstahl as she genuinely was: not as we have seen her so far but as Hitler's self-serving and mendacious p.r. handmaiden. If you haven't thought of 'Nazi artist' as a noxious and corrupting oxymoron, Bach's scrupulous account of a zealously masked life may persuade you otherwise." 
-- Cynthia Ozick

"In this lively, engaging biography of the legendary Leni Riefenstahl, Steven Bach finally separates fact from fiction to give the powerful filmmaker, manipulative narcissist and friend of Hitler her due." 
--Richard Rhodes

“It is difficult to overpraise Bach’s efforts . . . Bach is determined to present [Leni Riefenstahl] coolly, ironically, without loss of his own moral vector. What emerges is a compulsively readable and scrupulously crafted work . . . an almost novelistically compelling narrative of a life endlessly obfuscated by lies . . . graceful . . . nuanced . . . brilliant.”
-Richard Schickel, The Los Angeles Times (March 11, 2007)

“First-rate . . . [a] richly fleshed-out portraiture and social history”
- Judith Thurman, The New Yorker (March 19, 2007)

“Energetic . . . Serves as [a] much needed corrective to all the spin, evasions and distortions of the record purveyed by Riefenstahl.”
-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times (March 13, 2007)

“Bach makes the vivid and exasperating Riefenstahl come back to life and stand before us to be judged . . . Meticulous . . . Bach unearths the buried facts, finds the truth behind the lies.”
-Book World (March 4, 2007) 

“Penetrating and superbly well-written . . . As Bach expertly elucidates the opportunistic Riefenstahl’s exploits . . . he takes measure, as no one else has, of her ruthless ambition . . . Riefenstahl loved fairy tales, and, as Bach so perceptively and artistically reveals, she succeeded in living one, however insidious.”
-Donna Seaman, Booklist (February 15, 2007)

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